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New Zealand wins toss, bowls in 1st test vs. Australia

New Zealand wins toss, bowls in 1st test vs. Australia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand won the toss and chose to bowl on a greenish pitch at the Basin Reserve on Thursday in the first of two tests against Australia.

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Australia captain Pat Cummins said he also would have bowled if he had won the toss but the Basin Reserve often is deceptive and produces big first innings scores.

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The test is the first between the teams in New Zealand since 2016 and most of the current Australian team, including Cummins, has never played a test in New Zealand.

New Zealand last won a test against Australia, by seven runs in Hobart, in 2016 and prior to that in 1993.

All five days of the Wellington test are sold out as is almost all of the second test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Australia named the same lineup that played in the second test against the West Indies at the Gabba in January.

New Zealand waited until matchday to confirm its lineup, delaying a decision on whether to name four seamers as it did in its most-recent test against South Africa at Hamilton, or to include spinner Mitchell Santner.

When the covers came off after overnight rain and revealed a green Basin Reserve pitch, New Zealand opted to leave out Santner and go for seamer Scott Kuggeleijn. Kuggeleijn has played only one previous test, against England in February last year.

New Zealand is without opening batsman Devon Conway, who has a thumb injury and is replaced by Will Young. Daryl Mitchell returns from a foot injury and Rachin Ravindra has been declared fit after sustaining a slight knee injury during the Twenty20 series between the teams which Australia won 3-0.

Some players might have been jolted awake early Thursday by a magnitude 4.7 quake that struck Wellington about 5:20 a.m. local time.


New Zealand: Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell, Glenn Phillips, Scott Kuggeleijn, Matt Henry, Tim Southee (captain), Will O’Rourke.

Australia: Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (captain), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.


AP cricket:


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